I have always found lighthouses to be very intriguing. They radiate hope and so much positive vibes. Aside from being a navigational aid for the ships, each one of them speaks its own unique history.
For a second imagine yourself on a ship, on a new moon night, all you see in each direction are the dark waves of the ocean and all of a sudden you see the light, what a magical moment it is! Lighthouses around the world help countless ships get ashore. They are truly like the light at the end of the tunnel.
A part in me likes to think that maybe, just maybe I was a sailor in my previous birth 🙂 for the emotions that fill me up after looking at a lighthouse are indescribable!
Some interesting facts about lighthouses –
- The first known lighthouse was the Pharos of Alexandria, Egypt and was constructed in between 300 and 280 B.C.
- The oldest existing lighthouse in the world is considered to be La Coruna in Spain that dates back to. 20 B.C., and the oldest existing lighthouse in America is Sandy Hook, NJ (1764), which is still in operation.
- Lighthouse keeping was one of the first U.S. government jobs available to women, going back to the 19th century (source CNN).
- The first lighthouse in U.S. was at Boston on Little Brewster Island(1716). In fact, U.S. is home to more lighthouses than any other country, and with more than 115 lighthouses along the Great Lakes, the state of Michigan has the most lighthouses of any U.S. state.
Head to this site for more cool facts about lighthouses!
All right enough of my love for lighthouses, sharing today one of my favorite lighthouses from the Jersey shore – Cape May Lighthouse!
Cape May Lighthouse
Cape May lighthouse is almost like a tradition and we try to visit it, in summers as well as winters.
On a sunny day last December we decided to visit Cape May. I will do a detailed post on Cape May but for anyone new to Jersey shore, Cape May is the southernmost tip of New Jersey. In fact you actually take Exit 0 on the Garden State Parkway to get here. It is a beautiful Victorian town and has been a popular retreat since 1800’s when it became famous as the Queen of Seaside Resorts.
The holiday season Cape May is particularly spectacular. On our day trip in Cape May, we had lots planned in the evening (Victorian houses tour, Main Street, Congress Hall etc.) so we decided to check out the Cape May lighthouse in the early afternoon.
Cape May lighthouse is located in the Cape May Point State Park and is approximately 4 miles away from the Cape May town. There is ample parking available and the lighthouse is easily accessible from the parking. There is a small souvenir shop at the lighthouse entrance, we decided to check it out on our way back.
The tickets to the lighthouse are sold in the lighthouse building itself and our $10 for adults and $5 for children, click here to check the timings and for more information.
We took the tickets and geared up to climb the 199 steps of the spiral staircase to the top of the lighthouse. Our munchkin was the most excited to climb the stairs and had fun looking out of the windows at all of the platforms or landings.
The steps are narrow and steep, a word of caution please do not climb in heels!
There are six landings and each has a window offering spectacular views of the ocean and the surroundings along with some informational displays. Soon we reached the top, and were left in total awe! The panoramic views from the top of the lighthouse were absolutely breathtaking.
On a clear day you can see, Cape May city and Wildwood to the north, Cape May Point to the south, and sometimes the Delaware coast to the left. You can also spot a World War II bunker known as Battery 233 near the beach.
It was early afternoon and we could see the shadow of the lighthouse on the ground which was pretty cool!
Did you know, Cape May lighthouse was built in 1859 and is still active making it one of the oldest active lighthouses in U.S. ?
After soaking in the gorgeous vista and circling around the lighthouse a couple of times we decided to head down. On our way back we stopped at the souvenir shop to grab some magnets.
December is too cold for the beach but the beautiful and serene ocean and the sandy beach at the Cape May Point, dragged us in. There is a convenient walkway from the lighthouse parking lot to the beach, and we decided to spend some more time here.
We clicked a few pictures here and there and realized how hungry we were, it was time to bid adieu to this beautiful landmark!
Jersey shore has numerous lighthouses, and I have a few more experiences to share, stay tuned! Do you have a favorite lighthouse that inspires you?